October 27, 2014
Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,
All Saints’ Day, November 1, and All Saints’ Sunday, this year November 2, is special to
many Christians. The saints are so varied that it stretches the mind in appreciating how God
reaches people from so many walks of life. Some saints were martyred as children and
remembered. Others shared their wisdom with the church, so we could all grow in the faith.
Some saints started as great sinners and God reshaped them for mission and other great
accomplishments. They are young and old, rich and poor, male and female, and have served
God all over the earth.
All Saints not only covers the great saints—the ones the Church officially remembers.
This day helps us remember those Christians who were not great but helped us grow. The
Church likes to honor those who were not great on All Souls’ Day which is usually on November
2. I prefer to combine the not so great with the great saints. The not so great saints have been
mentors, friends, and relatives. They left us great examples for living and in their own ways
connected us with Jesus.
Most of us know our parents and usually our grandparents. Great grandparents get
sketchy and then the earlier generations of personal ancestry may survive in name only. If we
go forward in time five generations nearly all of us will be forgotten. Still, God knows of our faith
journey and how we helped others. We may not be called to be great, but we can be good. This
is the essence of the Christian life.
Jesus did not come to us so we would put him on a pedestal and worship him from a
distance. Jesus wanted us to be close to him so we could model our lives upon his. The saints
are the same way. While we can admire and follow their examples, we need to remember that
we too are called to a saintly life. We should accept nothing less for ourselves. Allow God to
take your gifts, talents, and abilities. Let him shape you and then accept the invitations he offers.
In so doing you will be fulfilling the verse of the great children’s song, “I Sing a Song of the
Saints of God.” It goes this way: “The Saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be one
too.” With my love and best wishes, I am,
Your brother in Christ,